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Dr. Raphael Isokpehi Integrates Faculty and Student Scientific Research Initiative


CSEM Offers Students Opportunity to Gain Experience in Microbiology Study

The College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics (CSEM) is increasing opportunities for students to engage and grow in the area of scientific research. Dr. Raphael Isokpehi, biology professor, is working with students and faculty to implement research in their courses of study and summer projects. “Student researchers provide the critical contribution of bringing fresh ideas and new perspective to solving scientific problems,” Dr. Isokpehi said.

Microbiologists like Dr. Isokpehi study biological life forms and focus on how they function to survive. The study of microorganisms also aids in developing preventative methods in human factors or creates new drugs that can kill pathogens. Most recently, faculty and student researchers are investigating how bacteria will continue its existence in unfavorable conditions such as high and low temperatures, human hosts and acidic environments.

Additionally, student researchers use genomic and infomatic information systems and software in CSEM laboratories to study microorganisms and their conditions. “The integration of research and education has become a part of our curriculum. Our laboratory is designed as a research project where we look at the form of different bacteria and its diversity. This extensive research gives students the skills that are transferable so that they graduate knowing how to collect, analyze, present and make decisions on scientific data," Dr. Isokpehi stated. 

Students are currently participating in summer projects, and graduate level research programs that will be entered into an academic showcase and presented during a national science conference this year. CSEM has been awarded several grants from the National Science Foundation to support collaborative efforts of faculty and student research projects.

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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